Purple Hatter’s Ball’s Never-Miss Heroes: Dubconcious, Trial by Stone, Catfish Alliance & MZG

The story of Rachel Morningstar Hoffman, the girl in the purple hat (of blessed memory), is well known, both for her love of music and the way in which her life was torn from us. Of necessity, we’ve focused previously on that terrible part of Rachel’s life.

Let’s take time now to examine the glorious part of her life — bands she loved when she attended festivals at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park. Many of those groups have returned that love, playing regularly at the Purple Hatter’s Ball ever since its inception, and this is number 9 [Ed. note: THIS IS NUMBER 11!]

There are six bands that have play almost all if not every PHB. Four of those will return for the 2018 edition. Denver live-electronic trio The Malah could not make it this year, the first one they’ve ever missed. Scott Campbell and Avis Berry had played almost every year up until Campbell succumbed to cancer in January of 2017.

Dubconscious are purveyors of dub/reggae/world/bass/conscious music, as anyone who has heard them will attest. Athens-based Dubconcsious are: Adrian Zelski (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), James Keane (vocals/lead guitar), Jerry Hendelberg (vocals/keys/melodica), Solomon Wright (bass/trumpet/vocals), Matty G (bass/dub engineer), Carl Lindberg (bass/vocals), Matthew Woolley (vocals/drums),  Jonathan Lloyd (trombone/vocals), Scott Pridgen (percussion), Shelley Olin (lead vocals), and Roger Levine (engineer, bass). Their set Saturday at 5 on the Amphitheater Stage will also include Mama Margie and the butterfly release in Rachel’s memory.

The other three bands all play the Beach Stage at the Suwannee River Saturday afternoon.

Trial by Stone bring an outrageous mix of punk, ska and reggae to the stage every time they play. I can only describe this as full-frontal madness, more fun than you can imagine. Trial by Stone from Tallahassee are: Buck (vocals/guitar), Roth (trombone/vocals), Zac (trombone/vocals), John (bass/dub engineer), and Wes (drums). They play 12:30-1:45.

Speaking of outrageous, it doesn’t get much wilder than Tallahassee’s Catfish Alliance. Their “North Florida sex rock” defies description. Just know you’ll be witnessing Sex Manatee and crew. Catfish Alliance are: Casey, Big E (aka Sex Manatee), Dillon Bradley-Brown, and Jeff Davis. Their set is 2:15-3:30.

MZG (Monozygotic) are twin brothers now based in Jacksonville who deliver a beautiful blend of sounds with their electronic dance music. They’ve been delighting audiences for four years with energetic and charismatic performances. MZG are: Charles Weinert (production/ programming) and Zachary Weinert (production/ programming). They have the final beach set from 4:00-5:00.


This year’s Purple Hatter’s Ball promises to be something special, in no small part to these four great bands. Join MusicFestNews at the park this weekend!

[Thanks to the Sober Goat/Shows I Go To, Ian Edward Weir, MZG, and TheFunkItBlog for the videos.]

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